How to make a travel journal

I made a travel journal for our trip to Europe last year. Then I left it at home.

Step one, get a journal and a map of the place you are going.

Cut two pieces of map about an inc bigger all the way around than the journal.

Modge podge the cover.

I put the back on first and then trimmed where it overlapped the front, realizing later that I didn’t need to do that.

Then I put on the front side and used a blow dryer to speed up the drying because we were leaving the next morning.

Flip it over and trim the corners so when you fold them in you don’t get a crease there.

Fold over and glue.

I used scrapbook paper for the liners.


Guess where I went (and other good news).

Guess where I went with Billy.

They have telephone booths...

and they have castles...

They also have large stones arranged in circles for mysterious reasons.

There is guinness too.

We backpacked for 3 weeks all over the UK and Ireland. In other awesome news I got a job literally the day before we left. I had hoped for some other awesomeness to happen this summer but two awesome things is still pretty great. More pics and blogging later, plus a how-to for making your own travel journal.

Shalom Cardigan

Over a year ago my sister gave me a bag full of yarn. Awesome stuff, too. And it continued to sit in it’s bag, next to the gorgeous yarn I picked up at Stitches West in 2010. Some of that yarn was finally used to make my beautiful Favorite Sweater. After finishing my Favorite Sweater and still being on a knitting binge, I searched through Ravelry‘s free patterns until I finally found something I liked that used the bulky alpaca my sister gave me. That’s how I came to make the Shalom Cardigan.

I am a short woman, being completely honest here. So I scoured the reviews of the Shalom Cardigan patterns to add sleeves and to shorten the body. I learned that if each of the three sections of twisted ribbing before the split for the sleeves was shortened by two rounds the body would be short enough for me. Adding sleeves was easy enough and I also included some waist shaping as well as button holes the whole way down so I can close the sweater all the way.

I like the sweaters that close only at the top but honestly, unless one is a waif or really dresses well, it makes us look dumpy. Also, I lost a bunch of weight and want to show off, so my sweater buttons all the way down. Once I sew on the buttons, that is.

Using a self timer to pose for pictures, not that brilliant.

The great thing about alpaca is that it’s super warm. Also, while I was told that it would stretch, it has not. However, I think it is a wool blend, so it actually felted a little bit and shrunk up when I washed it. I did add some more to the sleeves after I washed it because they became too short. I have found that the yarn sheds a lot.  I look a bit like a line backer in it and the yarn under the arm makes little fuzzballs. I pull off a lot of fuzzballs, mostly at work no less.

I actually have enough yarn left to make this sweater again, because I required less yarn than required when shortening the body. If I made it again without sleeves I would be able to make a tunic!

I have also made a shawl, so I’ll be posting on that.

In other news, my school district is cutting its art program, so I will soon be without a job. I am not sure where my life is going, I really thought I was going to be married this December but that has also changed. My life is about to really go into a flux and while I don’t enjoy that and spent the weekend freaking out over it, at this point I am feeling rather ambivalent. That may be because I still have a month and a half of work and I know I can go on unemployment if necessary but more than that I’ve been so stressed out about all of this for long enough and then I lost my grandfather, which was okay because he had been waiting for a while to go and wasn’t happy about being here, but the stress of organizing a funeral and family and then the job and the relationship status change and then oral surgery, wow, it’s been a lot. If you have read this whole thing, thank you. What I have started to do is to try to focus on putting my faith on God and recognizing that I am obviously not in control of the all the tings that happen in my life. I have control over what I eat and things of that nature but there is so, so much that I really have no control over. I’m trying to learn to live with that, it goes against my nature.

A Finished Sweater for Valentines

I wore my lovely new Fitted Sweater on Valentines Day, thinking it would be a very romantic and very red sweater.  Also, we were going out and I was hoping to get some nice pictures of it in nice places. That and a romantic picnic (which, sadly, didn’t happen as I had hoped).

At the Petrified Forest in Sonoma County


It is a little gappy in the bust, I wish I had done ribbon reinforcement behind both plackets instead of just the button side. It is a beautiful sweater, however, the buttons are really heave and flop about when the sweater is unbuttoned. Switching to lighter buttons would help.

I also made my boyfriend several different valentines cards at a girls night. He got two of them. The third I kept.

A map of the paths our lives took before we met, illustrated on actual maps from AAA.

I was surprised to learn later on that some friends of our actually got engaged on Valentines Day. Wow.

The End of Summer…It Must be Autumn

I spent the first half of summer vacation at home and the last half anywhere but home. Bill and I went to Lake Tahoe, drove to Washington, cruised to Alaska, drove back and left the next day to go camping some more. It was super busy.

I didn’t pack any knitting for any of my trips, figuring that I would be sooo busy the whole time. It turned out that on the cruise we spent most of our time in the library reading or on the top deck, reading some more, that I could have easily finished and worn a sweater with all that free time.

Alaska was awesome, the cruise was fabulous, the driving 2000 miles was horrible, as was camping off of service roads. Camping after we got back was also great, except for mosquitos, of which we saw none whilst in Alaska.

Picture time!

Caving in California

Checking out the Oregon Coast

Seattle tour with Talented photojournalist friend (not pictured) who takes artsy photos and amazing portraits

Fourth of July Parade, Alaska Style

Hiking in Mendelhall Glacier Park (I got us lost)

Hiking to Smugglers Cove in Skagway (I got us lost again, but found us too).

Checking out the glacier at Tracy Arm. There were too many icebergs, so we had to turn the boat around.

Yarn Shop in Victoria, BC.

Fancy captains dinner and my chocolate espresso souffle. The couple behind me got engaged while we were in Victoria, congratulations to them, they were the nicest people.

Here is the boat, I guess that's pretty important.

Here is what we did most on the boat (Also, I thought he looked really sweet, asleep like that)

That sums up our trip. Next time I’ll have some knitting content for everyone. School has been in session for 3 and a half weeks (we started in July) and I’ve been out of grad school since June (doesn’t mean I’ve graduated, just that I am done for now, and have enough units that I should have graduated, had my new school accepted any of my units from the previous school).

A Finished February Fitted Sweater After a Long Absence.

Wow, it’s been a while.

I’m sorry dear blog and readers for neglecting you both, but there is something new in my life, making itself a complete time suck for me.  Grad School.

Now, I’ve been to lots of school (as you can tell by that wonderfully constructed statement) but the one class I’ve taken so far has proven to take a lot more time than I remember school taking.  Lots and lots of time.  Since I’ve been working superhard to keep ahead of my assignments and reading for the week I have day to devote to all my favorite things, like facebook, blogging, knitting, and walking the puppy.

I made a sweater, I finished it over spring break.  It is awesome.  It is the February Fitted Sweater, by Amy Herzog and I knit it in Dream in Color in a beautiful green colorway that reminds me of irish moss and rolling hills.

Finishing my sweater I took the first opportunity I could to wear it.  So, the next day I was off to Monterey Bay Aquarium in my fancy new February.

On the way we stopped at Casa De Fruta for some hanging out at the casa’s (casa de candy, casa de vino, casa de fruta, casa de banos (hee))

I try to look frightenend for the "Haunted Tunnel"

Then it was off to the aquarium!!!

I love the kelp forest windows.

The Whale really, really wantes to be in the picture. Photobomb much?

Also, there were very knitterly things that I would not mind knitting at all.

A knitty blowfish!!!